Shreveport whirlpool video prompts investigation and safety signs

Published: Apr. 11, 2014 at 8:16 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2014 at 9:12 PM CDT
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CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - KSLA News 12 first showed you video Thursday of a whirlpool ripping through the waters of Wallace Lake Dam in Caddo Parish.

That video raised concern among the public and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about safety for swimmers there. The video prompted a quick response from the Corps.

"We're putting up a 'No wading and no swimming' sign this morning just to keep people safe from the high water," said Corps representative Randall Bordelon. "We've had a lot of heavy rains and when the water gets up like this we want to put up a sign to keep the public safe."

The crew cemented the signs in place at the banks.

"Pretty much this area is off limits because of the proximity to the dam and the high water," Bordelon said.

When the water is really low, there is a road that maintenance vehicles can drive across. The Corps thinks the whirlpool was caused by culverts, or large drains, near that road. They cause the water to swirl around.

"The Corps is very concerned about the public's safety in and around water. This water is a little bit swift so if someone wades out in there, it could carry them off," Bordelon said.

Corps crews will be sent out in the next few weeks to figure out how to stem the swirling streams.

"They're looking at a design to stop the whirlpool from occurring. Anytime you have a culvert that's overtopped, you're going to have a natural draining to those culverts," Bordelon said.

The Corps said it's never a good idea to swim near a dam because of the fast moving waters. They say there have been signs out at Wallace Lake Dam in the past, but they had gone missing.

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